Claim: A new advertisement endorsed by President Barack Obama that is airing on KLAS-TV Channel 8 has a narrator who states: "It's said that character is what we do when we think no one is looking. Mitt Romney thought no one was looking when he attacked 47 percent of Americans. His companies shipped jobs overseas. His plan cuts millionaires' taxes but raises yours. He'll voucherize Medicare and make catastrophic cuts to education. So remember what Romney said and what his plan would do."
Verdict: Partly true and partly misleading. Republican presidential nominee Romney ultimately apologized earlier this month on Sean Hannity's Fox News show for remarks at a secretly taped fundraiser about the 47 percent of Americans the candidate said will automatically vote for Democrat Obama. Romney was caught saying in part that these are people "who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them …"
The claim about shipping jobs overseas came from a Washington Post story in June on Bain Capital, the private equity firm Romney co-founded. The newspaper reported that Bain invested in companies that specialized in relocating jobs done by Americans to low-wage facilities in places such as China and India. But the same story also stated that "outsourcing has been a powerful economic force. It has often helped lower the prices that American consumers pay for products and created a global supply chain that has made U.S. companies more nimble and profitable." What the ad fails to mention is that many Americans eagerly buy brand name products such as those from Nike, Apple and Levi Strauss, that are made overseas. Many 401(k) retirement savings accounts found in American workplaces also invest in U.S. companies that do business overseas.
The oft-repeated claim from the Obama campaign that Romney's tax plan would favor only the wealthiest Americans comes from a study done earlier this year by the Tax Policy Center, a collaboration of the Brookings Institution and Urban Institute think tanks. But the authors of the study conceded that they couldn't score Romney's plan directly because he hadn't provided full details, such as how he planned to expand the tax base by reducing or eliminating certain tax loopholes or deductions. Romney is sticking to his claim that he will cut marginal income tax rates by 20 percent across the board, and eliminate taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains for taxpayers with adjusted gross income below $200,000.
As for the Medicare claim, Romney repeatedly has said that his plan doesn't affect current seniors or those nearing retirement. The ad can mislead viewers into believing that Romney's plan indeed affects current Medicare recipients.
The reference to "catastrophic cuts to education" is sourced to an Oct. 19 Denver Post editorial endorsement of Obama that actually didn't address education specifically. Instead, the newspaper wrote: "Romney's approach is one of tax cuts for all, drastic Medicare reform, increased defense spending, and what would be catastrophic cuts to other discretionary programs." The ad needs stronger sourcing on this claim because the education plan detailed on the Romney campaign website mentions nothing about deep cuts.
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